Greenville City Council

Changes are coming to Greenville’s community centers.

City Parks and Recreation Director Dana Souza told members of the Greenville City Council that all non-academic elements of the after-school programs at the city’s community centers will be eliminated this fall.

The department will eliminate after-school program and senior programming at the Juanita Butler Community Center and turn it into a teen center. The YWCA, which is across the street from the center, will provide after-school programming for children, Souza said. Senior programs will be based at the David Hellams Community Center, he said.

New programs will be developed every quarter and center hours will be based on programming and include evenings and Saturdays, Souza said.

“We want to generate community interest to create a life at each community center,” he said. “We’ll focus on the delivery of programs that meet the needs of the community. Once we have that, we can focus on the long-term needs for the buildings,” Souza told the council.

Ridership of Greenlink buses are up and officials expect the number to continue to increase with addition of service to Furman University and ITT Tech beginning in October, Greenlink Transit General Manager Sheila Schmitt told council members.

Expansion of two routes and extended operating hours on the bus system’s most popular routes was made possible by the bus system cutting double coverage on some of its routes, she said.

For instance, Route 3 will save 18 minutes saved by not serving Boulder Creek and Crestwood apartment complexes, Schmitt said. The bus will now go out to Furman University, a move that will allow students to get around Greenville easier.

Another change will put a bus along the frontage road on Interstate 385 to ITT Tech and ECPI.

Ridership was up 16 percent last month, said Carl Jackson, the city’s transportation director. Ridership was up 9 percent in January. Schmitt credited part of the increase to the elimination of flag stops which has allowed more of the buses to run on time.

The bus system has put two new buses in service and expects seven additional new buses to arrive in June 2011.

The next regular meeting of the Greenville City Council is Sept. 13 at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers on the 10th floor of City Hall. A work session will be held at 4 p.m. in the ninth floor conference room.

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